Prioritization

Overwhelm and Prioritization

Do you ever feel like you are drowning in overwhelm and unable to prioritize what needs to be done next? Chances are, if you run a business, this has happened to you. When it does, typically our default reaction is to stay stuck and to focus on tasks that are easy, instead of those that are important as a way of coping.

That’s okay if it’s for a day, but when this type of behavior starts to seep into your world regularly, you have a problem with organization and prioritization and you need to take back control.

Create some calm and order in your life and #business. Click To Tweet

If you find yourself in this position, here’s what you can do to get laser focused and back on track:

  1. Grab a notepad and write down everything that needs to be done. Get it all out of your head and down on paper so you can see it clearly.  Often, this exercise alone is enough to stifle the overwhelm.
  1. Take that big list, grab a different coloured pen, then rank/group each item in terms of importance.  Number one should be for the most important items that need to be completed the soonest. Number two would be the most important items that have a longer timeline associated with them. And number three should be for the unimportant, easy tasks that you could get done in a short period of time with some focus and concentration.andrew-neel-308138-unsplash
  1. Organize due dates. Place due dates next to each item in order of priority so you can clearly see which item you’ll complete and by when.
  1. Tackle the first item on your list of number one priorities and get it done. Don’t do anything else until the most important item is completed. Then, go to your list of number three items and get a couple of quick tasks completed, but do NOT do this first.
  1. Take all remaining tasks and put them in your calendar. Assign specific dates and blocks of time to get the work done and then, put your adulting pants on and stick with it.  The reason it’s called work is because it takes work, effort, and commitment to get it done.

If you follow these five steps above, you can create some calm and order in your life.

Don’t worry, I have a few more tips for you:

  1. Delegate any tasks that you can to someone else.  Yes, this might cost you money, but it saves you time and mental energy.
  1. Hire someone to do it with you. I have clients who do this regularly with me. They hire me to sit down with them and help them get the most important work they’ve been avoiding done to help them end the loop of analysis paralysis or avoidance.
  1. Ditch it if it’s been on your list for months and you never make time to do it.  If it’s important to you, it will get done. If it’s not, it will get deferred. Stop the deferral and ditch it altogether. Give up the guilt and let it go. It’s really that easy.
Managing #overwhelm in your #business. Click To Tweet

Your behaviour shows what’s important to you.  If you choose to stay overwhelmed, it’s because you’re getting something from feeling like you have no control. (That’s probably a victim mentality that you might want to shake.)

As my friend Rhonda Scharf would say #DTFW…and I will let you figure out what that means on your own.  There are no shortcuts, friends. We all have long lists of tasks to do and those who are getting the work done are those who are moving forward and creating successful businesses. It really is as simple as that.

Leave me a comment and let me know if this helped you get organized, and what you’re going to tackle today that you’ve been avoiding!

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks. I like the idea of manually writing it down. I’m really visual, so this helps (plus I love stroking things off as “done” :o)

    My #1 (urgent, tactical and important) priorities that I’m currently working on are preparing PPT decks and learning guides for three upcoming presentations.
    #2 (strategic and important) are exploring CRM, CMS and SSL options, then redoing my website and hosting plan (PS: what started as simply adding SSL has proven to be waaaaay more complicated than first expected)
    #3 (easy to implement, quick, smaller impact) are write blog/enews and schedule delivery for next week

  2. Thank you Lisa, I really needed this … I feel like I’m in one of those fancy hotel revolving front doors that just keeps me spinning and every once in a while I get spit out, deal with that issue and then enter again to do over and over again. THANK YOU I will try this today I work best the check lists I need the check to let my mind know it is complete. Plus at the end of the day it gives me validation that I did have a productive day or didn’t and I could do better tomorrow. Running a business I do so much in a day but feel so unfinished at the end of day because so much is started but not completed …. this list should help.

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